Bleeding eardrums, rattling insides, elbows sore from "navigating" the crowd... Next week is Notting Hill Carnival again. This year, though, it will be possible to find the odd oasis of calm in the shape of mento band the Jolly Boys. The "boys", led by the seventysomething Albert Minnott, are a Jamaican institution, having been the party band at Port Antonio's Navy Island when the idyllic spot was owned by Errol Flynn and used as both film location and Hollywood party venue. With their gentle party vibe still intact, the Jolly Boys will provide a much-needed break from the grime, dubstep and hubbub all around. 29 August, Cobden Club, 170 Kensal Road, London W10, at 10pm; 30 August, Gaz's Rockin' Blues stage, Talbot Road, London W2, at 4pm
Want oceans of gore? You got it. Want an alien-invasion road movie? Fine. Want a South Korean sickle thriller? You do? Really? OK, you've got that, too. From the world premiere of Adam Green's swamp-thing revenge slasher Hatchet II to the 'District 9'-esque Monsters and Jang Cheol-soo's tale of two women, Bedevilled, this year's Film4 FrightFest has something for everyone. Well, everyone who likes a good scream, anyway. Thursday to 30 August, Empire Leicester Square, London WC2, frightfest.co.uk
If acquiring an authentic Fabergé egg is out of your price range, how about a Fabergé oak branch? Heiress Sarah Fabergé is one of 70 artists and celebrities creating works from dead wood for the Arboretum at Castle Howard in York. An exhibition displaying all the pieces, from the likes of Joanna Lumley and Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, goes on display at Kew at Castle Howard from 11 September. You can bid for a branch at Bonhams in London on 16 September, or online from Thursday at i-bidder.com. branching-out.co.uk
You heard it here first: the undead is dead; long live the demigod. A new novel by US debut author Josephine Angelini looks set to do for Greek gods what Twilight has done for werewolves and vampires, with "a pulse-racing" mix of Greek mythology and high-school romance. 'Starcrossed', the first in a trilogy, has sold in 17 countries, including the UK. It will be published in June 2011 – which gives less than a year for this season's teen vampire lookalikes to buff up to godlike proportions.
Want a slice of environmentalism with your mushroom burger? For those who have adopted vegetarianism for ethical reasons, further reason to cheer comes from soon-to-launch veggie chain Otarian, which will print the carbon footprint of every food item on its menu to raise eco awareness. Add in a "no air-freight policy" and it sounds like the way forward for our food industry – although the proof of the pudding... Opens on Shaftesbury Avenue and Wardour Street, London from Wednesday, www.otarian.co.uk
Ready for the next dating fad? Next month sees the launch of a speed fancy-dress dating event at swanky east London bar Avalon. In between each "date", punters get to transform themselves by donning a plethora of vintage finds, home-made creations and accessories provided by travelling costumier Bizarre Bazaar. Exact details of the evening have yet to be finalised, but if you can't wait to see what you'll be wearing, check out the dressing-up company's wares this weekend at Bedfordshire's Brazilian-themed Festinho Festival. bizarrebazaaruk.com, festinho.com